Many Christians live under a heavy burden of guilt-a joy & strength zapping feeling because of what they’ve been taught. Certain behaviors & opinions are wrongly made out to be of monumental importance-to be BIG sins, deal killers-that aren’t even on God’s radar screen.
If we are not careful, additional standards of righteousness & holiness are gently & compassionately added on until the burden is unbearable. In fact, it was a burden we were never meant to bear. Religious zeal without calm, critical & logical thinking almost always ends up hurting the human spirit by setting the bar higher than God intended. The sad reality is that there are some Christians who are literally more holy than Jesus himself. But for some strange reason they are not as attractive & winsome to ordinary people like Jesus was. The problem is that this type of ‘holiness’ is not from the Holy Spirit but from the human spirit. The former is liberating, joyful & endlessly strengthening while the latter is legalistic, suspicious & weak.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)
When role models do not unashamedly & temperately enjoy liberties, it casts a sinister cloud over what ought to be enjoyed without one hint of condemnation. Why must we continually send a poisonous disapproving message over activities that should be enjoyed wisely? What humanity needs to taste is the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit-the spirit of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness & self-control. In the area of legitimate liberties we Christians should not be known for our abstinence but for our temperance-not for our distant superficial superiority but for our wholehearted participation. Only then will outsiders see the attractiveness of true holiness & good Christian people will stop living under the weight of false & unnecessary burdens. Cheers!